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Posts posted by VanishedOne

  1. Quote

    Archaeologists have now uncovered a link to the capital’s lost ice trade with the rediscovery, under one of London’s most prestigious addresses, of an enormous 18th-century ice store, the existence of which had been almost entirely forgotten... Workers would then climb down into the void from a small corridor near the top, to chip off blocks when required...

    “At one point there were probably a couple of thousand ice wells in London, but most of them were probably quite small. What this one does and why it is significant is it bridges the gap between [the time when] ice was only for the very wealthy, to a kind of mass availability of ice, which you get from the 1830s and 40s.”



  2. 6 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

    That's my understanding too, but how many mappers are creating custom transparent materials? I can't imagine they would have more than one or two in a mission, whereas they might have hundreds of custom brick or stone textures.

    Using one stage to write to particular channels which then control the behaviour of a subsequent stage definitely feels like "advanced" functionality to me.

    It isn't limited to transparent materials - see e.g. textures/darkmod/stone/flat/smooth/alabaster_opaque - but your second point is well made.

  3. Apart from one which implements its 'camera' using a trigger brush. Edit: scratch that, I missed the word 'prepackaged'.

    As one of the people encouraging customisability, what I'm after is to avoid the present case in which assumptions down to the camera's spark particles are hard-coded. As I wrote on the tracker,


    Recently someone wanted an invisible security camera for something and couldn't get the skin working; I checked the code and saw it seemed to be using hardcoded on/off skins (so I ended up suggesting overriding those built-in skins with same-named ones as a workaround). The spark particles are hardcoded too, I think, so anyone trying to create the 'gruesome sentries' from http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Magic#Necromancy would get sparking animal heads.

    I agree that it would be poor mission design if visually identical cameras had wildly divergent behaviour.

  4. 1 hour ago, OrbWeaver said:

    I'd also have all of the colour options in the Basic interface (rgb, colored, vertexColor) etc, along with probably alphaTest. I think the masks, depth hack, private polygon offset can go in the advanced section (although maybe mappers are using these more than I assume).

    maskColor and maskAlpha are reasonably common when working with alpha masks: textures/darkmod/glass/clear for example. I've never seen a use for maskDepth though. Polygon offsets would probably be used more if they didn't break light interaction (one learns the hard way why setting DECAL_MACRO can be a bad idea); I basically associate privatePolygonOffset with D3-esque burnaway effects. Isn't the depth hack a particle thing from before sort particles?

    I have the impression that vertexColor is fairly rare because it needs a mesh with vertex colour data, and it's mainly used with inverseVertexColor for vertex blended meshes, although you can also use it for baked AO and the like. (The ET:QW wiki suggests using vertex colours to fade out the edges on water meshes, but I think https://forums.thedarkmod.com/index.php?/topic/18036-messing-with-sea-water/ has been the focus of TDM experiments on soft water edges...)


  5. I should think adding shader effects to the spyglass overlay would be done by adding a stage to the tdm_spyglass_overlay material to invoke a postprocess shader. You could look at water materials like textures/water_source/water_clear for an example of a stage calling a shader program.

  6. I think blend modes with dedicated names tend (apart from blend none) to be pretty widely used and easy to learn: blend add for anything self-lit, blend filter for darkening effects like grime, blend blend as the basic choice for alpha blending. Other blend modes I'd consider more advanced, since you really need to know what the syntax means to work out how they interact with background colours: stuff like the blood decals that use blend gl_zero, gl_one_minus_src_color is quite non-obvious.

  7. 16 hours ago, Dragofer said:

    Flashbombs could have more uses, anyway - they're currently no good for anything else than escaping or fighting undead.

    TDM flashbombs have no effect on undead, actually: supposedly the rationale is that undead don't physically see you (zombies hunt by scent), even though this makes no sense in a game with shadow- and line-of-sight-based stealth. The out-of-universe rationale is to make holy water more valuable. Even experienced mappers get caught out by this: The Rats Triumphant gives you some completely useless flashbombs.

    Flashbombs will harm the ghosts in my w.i.p. though.

  8. It warms my heart to know that while half the world's hobby communities are engulfed in culture wars, there are still places where the high drama erupts over GUI design.

    On a more practical note: being able to add a background image to the preview might be useful for testing blend modes.

    It looks from the screenshot as though the list of stages has them identified by blend mode: maybe the currently selected stage could be highlighted in the right-hand textbox too, to make it easier to tell which blend add stage you're manipulating right now?

    • Like 2
  9. Base holy water damage is supposed to be 140, and health for a basic zombie is 150. Maybe something weird is going on with damage scaling, though I don't see where.

    Edit: I had an idea about this (presently untested): radius of the holy water stim: 24 units. Zombie's height: ~82 units. I don't see anything to make the stim test for intersection with the zombie's body instead of its origin; and an AI's origin is at its base... I think the stim is supposed to move downwards, like the water stim, but maybe it's missing if it's too far to the side, since the origin is at the (ahem) dead centre of the footprint.

    Edit2: okay, in my tests I can kill the (initially unalerted) zombie in the expected two shots. I sometimes one-shot him if I aim near the origin. I'm not sure whether the sneak attack multiplier is supposed to apply here. Maybe he can be alerted before the sim falls to near the origin?

  10. 42 minutes ago, roygato said:

    As for your final point about, I feel like it's a combination of not having many water arrows and holy water being so weak. It's pretty much always a completely wasted piece of equipment on any level, only good for informing me that there will be undead around, if that wasn't readily obvious. Therefore, I tend to just use the arrows on light sources and melee the undead.

    Going a little offtopic here, but since you mentioned it: it seems from its script that holy water is less effective than you'd expect against multiple targets.

    // greebo: TODO: This won't cut it for holy stims damaging multiple undead
    	if (stimSource.getIntKey("stim_already_fired") == 1)
    		//sys.println("Ignoring stim coming from " + stimSource.getName());


  11. 2 hours ago, chakkman said:

    I can't remember at all how it was in Thief... could you destroy the security camers there?




    For the destruction of said devices are explosives, such as Fire Arrows and Mines, but method is very noisy, and can attract unwanted attention. The Watcher in Cragscleft Prison can be disabled with one Broadhead Arrow shot directly into its lens. Watchers in all Thief 2 missions can be blinded for a short time with a Flash Bomb.

    One option re. water arrows would be to invent a relay-type thingy for the power or alarm system: something like an antenna with lightning effects. If you see one near a camera, you can break the camera's connection to the alarm system for a bit. (Cf. how in T2 some turrets are autonomous, others rely on a nearby Watcher to alert them. It could also be used for other security devices, like in TDS's museum.)

    • Thanks 1
  12. The thing with the water arrow idea is, sitting in place watching areas is what a security camera does, so there isn't that big a difference between temporarily and permanently disabling one unless you need to traverse an area repeatedly. T2 Watchers are sometimes used like Bafford gate guards, to direct the flow of gameplay by making an ingress point impossible to stealth through. If they can be disabled with fairly common tools, that isn't really viable. Camera looking straight down a well lit corridor? Water arrow. Camera pointed directly at a valuable object? Water arrow.

    I'm not against the idea as such - I think carefully timing your water arrow hit and grabbing of the loot could be fun too - but I think there are definite reasons why a mapper might want to deploy waterproof cameras.

  13. It might be worth starting to think about turrets as well.

    I'm coming to think there just isn't a single optimum approach to camera vulnerabilities: making them vulnerable to various projectiles adds gameplay options but could mean nobody with a quiver of broadheads or water arrows will ever bother to hunt down the power switch, especially in areas where AI can't easily see a broken one. 

    Fortunately, this is a problem with an established mapping solution:


  14. This is going to be configurable for different camera types that might exist in future, yes? Given that the Wiki mentions necromancers' guardian skulls, and eyeball plants have been mentioned on the tracker... (Edit: also, the water arrow feature especially would be a nontrivial change to existing maps that use the cylindrical camera model.)

    Re. damage types: yes, we're hitting the limits of the Doom 3 way of handling damage again. You could try distinguishing projectile collisions from melee ones via clipmodel contents, perhaps.

  15. 3 hours ago, HMart said:

    Afaik by using the global material keyword "blendLight" in the light material and disabling specular and diffuse you turn the light into a very cheap light, this lights have no real interaction with surfaces


    Yes, what that keyword does is let you put blend stages in the light material instead of regular light interaction stages. E.g. blend add in glare lights, blend filter in shadow lights. (And no shadowcasting; id's docs say forceshadows should override that like it does for ambient lights, but in my tests it didn't.)


    5 hours ago, totallytubular said:

    If it's just a light source parked next to a window to make it look like the window is giving off light, then it makes sense. It shouldn't have diffuse color or specular. Heck, it shouldn't have normals or anything. It should just be a light source.

    There's windows that have "shine" coming out of them, and those will have diffuse color for the "rays", but they shouldn't do normals or speculars. Should just be a diffuse color piped through with a reduced alpha transparency. They're just simple sfx that don't need as much processing as, say, a texture on a wall or such.

    As far as I know the point of nodiffuse/nospecular is to disable things the light does when illuminating surfaces in the world. Nothing to do with SFX.

  16. 9 hours ago, totallytubular said:

    I thought about hacking in PBR code ... already got diffuse which can be used as albedo, got a normal map, can fake an AO map, and use it as fake spec / smoothness / roughness map. ... only thing missing is the metallic map which might be faked some how. Figured I'd just hack it and see how it looks. Haven't gotten around to that yet. My career as a data analyst revolves around making ad-hoc reports that fill a need quickly until a more robust reporting solution can get built. So, fake it until you make it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Issue in the working world is when the ad-hoc becomes the main solution rather than what it is: a glorified band-aid. But, a glorified band-aid might look nice temporarily, or as a fallback.

    You might find this of interest. (The shader it talks about can't be dropped into newer TDM versions since the ARB backend is gone.)

  17. 5 minutes ago, totallytubular said:

    I think Thief 3 also did this. Def did fresnel with the frob-highlight, but I think they slapped it on a lot of things, and in monotone fashion, so everything had a dark blue cast to it beyond just ambient light. I guess they were trying to be atmospheric.

    Maybe this?

    On 2/15/2013 at 12:46 PM, GameDevGoro said:

    The important difference, however, is that TDS never used specular maps. They faked it by using cubemaps. It worked out better I think, everything in the game looked softer and more organic thanks to this.


  18. Materials could be made to change dynamically between wet and dry versions by reading a parm set by the mapper, though that would mean making a lot of custom material decls. Also, regular shaderparms are set per-entity, but I'm now wondering: are all the global parms still used, after changes to bloom/ambient rendering?

  19. My guess was that someone added them on the grounds that a pendulum is effectively a sort of binary mover (like the way levers and buttons have snd_open). But there doesn't seem to be any actual support.

    Yes, I'll have to fall back to having a loop playing. Edit: or this.

  20. My func_pendulum is silent. Am I overlooking something, or are these spawnargs from the entityDef not actually implemented?

    	"editor_snd snd_open"		"sound to play when opening."
    	"editor_snd snd_close"		"sound to play when closing."
    	"editor_snd snd_opened"		"looping sound for it's opened state."


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